GhostWhoVotes relates that the monthly Nielsen poll in tomorrow’s Fairfax papers has Labor leading 52-48, after trailing 51-49 last time. The primary votes are 40% for the Coalition (down four), 34% for Labor (down one) and, remarkably, 17% for the Greens (up five). The latter is three points higher than the Greens have scored in any Nielsen result going back to the 2010 election (UPDATE: It turns out 15% is their previous record in Nielsen, and 16% is their record in Newspoll). Stay tuned for leadership ratings and state breakdowns.

Further results from the poll indicate strong opposition to the government’s policies with respect to the Racial Discrimination Act, with 88% disagreeing with the contention that it should be lawful to offend, insult or humiliate on the basis of race, as per the provisions of 18C of the act, and 59% opposed to George Brandis’s contention that people have the right to be bigots, with 34% supportive. Opinion on knights and dames is more finely balanced than might have been expected, with 35% supportive and 50% opposed.

UPDATE: The poll has Tony Abbott’s lead as preferred prime minister down from 48-43 to 45-44, which equals the Newspoll of February 21-23 as the narrowest lead yet recorded (ReachTEL may or not be an exception, as I don’t track it due to its unusual methodology). Abbott is down two on approval to 43% and up one on disapproval to 50%, while Bill Shorten is up one to 43% and down one to 41%.

UPDATE 2: GhostWhoVotes has full tables. By far the most striking results are from Western Australia, where the Greens lead Labor 27% to 20% – remembering this is from a sample of 150 with a margin of error of 8%. The lesson I would take from this is that static from the WA Senate election is making federal poll results less reliable than usual just at the moment.

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